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Orion Cruises, True North and Aurora Expeditions offer on-shore tours of rock art at Raft Point.Professor Paul Tacon of Griffith University recommends the large body of Quinkan rock art, dating between 15,000 and 30,000 years old, on the sandstone escarpments around Laura.Apart from a painting of a Tasmanian tiger, which became extinct on the mainland about 3000 years ago, much of the art at the Ubirr site is less than 1500 years old with examples of x-ray renderings of fish plus contact art including white fellas smoking pipes with hands on their hips.See it for yourself: All three sites have extensive signage and viewing platforms for self-guided tours. au/parks/kakadu/explore/There are remote rock art sites across the Kimberley; many are difficult to access.Quinkans are spirit beings unique to this region, made famous in the children’s book The Quinkins [sic] by Percy Trezise and Dick Roughsey.The Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre features an interpretive display explaining the art, registered on the Australian Heritage Commission and which manager Lex Bloomfield says is the best-kept secret in Queensland.The thin, elongated and elegantly drawn Gwion Gwion, dated to at least 17,000 years, are painted in hematite ochre that has bonded with the rock and appears as stains with no trace of any surface pigments.See it for yourself: King Edward River Crossing (Munurru) has two excellent sites with Wandjina and Gwion Gwion figures.
Nanguluwur offers hand stencils, dynamic figures in large head-dresses carrying spears and boomerangs, a two-masted sailing ship and figures such as Alkajko, a female spirit with horns and four arms.Both include a guided tour of the rock art shelters, a swim and gourmet picnic (au).There is also rock art to be seen on the Nitmiluk cruises in Katherine Gorge (au).Kimberley rock art falls into two distinct categories: Wandjina and Gwion Gwion art.
Wandjina art, dating back over 3000 years, depicts creator ancestors who control the storms heralding the wet season.
All the academics agree that Kakadu holds one of the world’s greatest concentrations of rock art; approximately 5000 sites have been recorded, a further 10,000 are thought to exist and these are just a sliver of the total body of art on the Arnhem Land Plateau.